City Pr Presentation


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This is a presentation I gave in back to back workshops for department heads and public service personnel of a local municipality. The intent was to help them better understand the role of the media and how they can do a better job of communicating on behalf of the city to build citizen trust.

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City Pr Presentation

  1. 1. Your City in the News Be Ready for your Close-Up Media Relations Training September 30, 2008
  2. 2. <ul><li>The news will happen </li></ul><ul><li>At some point, your organization will want to communicate through the media </li></ul><ul><li>The difference between succeeding and failing depends on preparation </li></ul>Why Media Training?
  3. 3. <ul><li>Almost everyone has preconceptions and prejudices about journalists </li></ul>
  4. 5. Strong Negative Feelings Typical <ul><li>Missed the point </li></ul><ul><li>Got the facts wrong </li></ul><ul><li>Had their idea of the story and fit me into it </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the negative, sensational </li></ul><ul><li>Out to “get” you </li></ul>
  5. 6. Impact of Negative Feelings <ul><li>Can be defensive, suspicious </li></ul><ul><li>Feel as though preparation doesn’t matter </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the journalist rather than on the audience </li></ul>
  6. 7. Change the Mindset <ul><li>Old : Survive without embarrassing yourself </li></ul><ul><li>New : Accomplish an objective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get people to take action </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. The Opportunity Mindset <ul><li>What would you want the headline to say? </li></ul><ul><li>How would you want the news anchor to lead into the story? </li></ul><ul><li>Write it down! </li></ul><ul><li>This serves as your objective or purpose. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>The basics about journalists and the mainstream media </li></ul>
  9. 10. Some Basics about Journalists <ul><li>Reporters are doing a job </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They are story tellers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Journalists are busy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They want the basics quick and easy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Journalists are generalists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They know a little about a lot </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Some Basics about Journalists <ul><li>Journalists don’t care about you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The story takes precedence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Journalists want “good tape” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The more unusual, the better </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Journalists make you feel at ease </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They want real, not rehearsed </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>So, how do you know if YOU have a story? </li></ul>
  12. 13. Do You Have a Story? <ul><li>Is the news media really the best way to get the message out? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the chances the story could turn negative? </li></ul><ul><li>What visuals do/will you have? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have a “wow” factor? </li></ul>
  13. 14. Do You Have a Story? <ul><li>Do you have personal stories? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it the first time? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it signal a trend? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there conflict? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have any celebrity factor? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have confidence in your spokesperson? </li></ul>
  14. 15. Do You Have a Story? <ul><li>How can you “segment” the story? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For the features section </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For the health/medical writer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For the parenting/family writer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For the business section </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For the calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For television (visuals drive story) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For radio (tie to bigger story) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Trends Favor Local News <ul><li>The percentage of U.S. newspapers that have increased or decreased coverage of the following topics the last three years: </li></ul>Source: Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism
  16. 17. What Drives “Newsworthiness” <ul><li>Surprise </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional Affect </li></ul><ul><li>Effect </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Reporter’s Interest </li></ul><ul><li>Mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Change </li></ul><ul><li>Editor’s Perspective </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>You can’t decide what is newsworthy, which is why media has such credibility </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>All media has been pressured by the immediacy of the Internet, but some basic rules still apply… </li></ul>
  19. 20. Newspaper Schedules, Deadlines <ul><li>Reporters have beats, expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for developments and present ideas to editor </li></ul><ul><li>Assignments made 2-3 days out </li></ul><ul><li>Often have 3 or more stories in development </li></ul><ul><li>Deadlines throughout the day </li></ul>
  20. 21. Television Schedules, Deadlines <ul><li>Reporters have loose beats </li></ul><ul><li>Often opportunistic in coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Assignments made at 9 a.m. meeting </li></ul><ul><li>It’s all about the visuals </li></ul><ul><li>Deadlines before the mid-day, evening and nightly newscasts </li></ul>
  21. 22. Radio Schedules, Deadlines <ul><li>Reporters develop several stories each day </li></ul><ul><li>No discernable beats </li></ul><ul><li>Assignments made minute-to-minute </li></ul><ul><li>Want quick sound bite </li></ul><ul><li>Deadlines throughout the day </li></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>How does online media factor into this? </li></ul>
  23. 24. Impact of Internet <ul><li>“Citizen Media” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Video </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Their personal passion drives what they “cover” </li></ul><ul><li>Often get the story first </li></ul>
  24. 25. Americans who have a blog <ul><li>8% </li></ul>Source: Synovate marketing research,
  25. 26. Americans who read a blog daily <ul><li>15% </li></ul>Source: Synovate marketing research,
  26. 27. Americans who read a blog monthly <ul><li>28% </li></ul>Source: Synovate marketing research,
  27. 28. Americans who read a blog less than once per month <ul><li>39% </li></ul>Source: Synovate marketing research,
  28. 29. Journalists who check a blog list regularly <ul><li>69% </li></ul>Source: Brodeur, 1/8/08
  29. 30. Journalists who read blogs at least two to three times per week <ul><li>57% </li></ul>Source: Brodeur, 1/8/08
  30. 31. Journalists who spend more than one hour per day reading blogs <ul><li>21% </li></ul>Source: Brodeur, 1/8/08
  31. 32. Journalists: blogs have a significant impact on editorial direction <ul><li>51% </li></ul>Source: Brodeur, 1/8/08
  32. 33. Report on daily blog mentions
  33. 34. <ul><li>Leveraging online/ social media can attract the mainstream media </li></ul>
  34. 35. What Should You Do If Called? <ul><li>Be cordial and welcoming </li></ul><ul><li>Log who called, when and from what media outlet </li></ul><ul><li>Note the information requested and ask topic of story </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for some time </li></ul><ul><li>Confer with Communications & Marketing Director </li></ul>
  35. 36. Media Relations Dos and Don’ts <ul><li>Do think beyond your interests </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Journalists focus on the interests of their audience and you should too </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t get bogged down in details </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless they specifically request minutia, stick with the basics </li></ul></ul>
  36. 37. Media Relations Dos and Don’ts <ul><li>Do your homework </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop several newsworthy angles to provide the reporter with options </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t presume to know what the reporter finds interesting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to the reporter and be ready to adjust course quickly </li></ul></ul>
  37. 38. Media Relations Dos and Don’ts <ul><li>Do build a working relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The real estate in their rolodex is invaluable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t take it personally </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You are an information source first and foremost, not a buddy </li></ul></ul>
  38. 39. Media Relations Dos and Don’ts <ul><li>Do welcome the attention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be responsive because reporters can help get your message across </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t snub the little guy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even little media outlets can have big influence </li></ul></ul>
  39. 40. Media Relations Dos and Don’ts <ul><li>Do hunt for good story ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for good people stories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t waste the editor’s time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Before presenting a story idea, consider if it is really newsworthy </li></ul></ul>
  40. 41. Media Relations Dos and Don’ts <ul><li>Do take full advantage of the Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reporters prefer to gather the information without interference </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t bother reporters unnecessarily </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow-up calls should only be done if you offer something of value </li></ul></ul>
  41. 42. Media Relations Dos and Don’ts <ul><li>Do the reporter’s job </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Present the information the way reporters do – who, what, where, when, why and how </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t bury the good stuff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grab a reporter in the first couple sentences because that’s all you have </li></ul></ul>
  42. 43. Media Relations Dos and Don’ts <ul><li>Do offer to be the reporter’s helper </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They will appreciate your help in tracking down data or people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t ask for favors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Their interest is a good story and anything else is an obstacle </li></ul></ul>
  43. 44. Media Relations Dos and Don’ts <ul><li>Do respect the privacy of those involved </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Err on the side of caution when it comes to releasing personal information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t get tricked </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even if a reporter already knows, protect personal information </li></ul></ul>
  44. 45. Media Relations Dos and Don’ts <ul><li>Do keep your promises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once you have lost their trust, they won’t come back </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t blow them off </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keeping the information flowing is essential to maintaining the public’s trust </li></ul></ul>
  45. 46. <ul><li>Positive media relationships can be invaluable in a crisis </li></ul>
  46. 47. <ul><li>Sometimes You Don’t Dictate Timing </li></ul>
  47. 48. Crisis Planning
  48. 49. Fundamentals: Definition of “Crisis” <ul><li>A crisis is an unexpected and uncontrolled event or series of events that disrupt normal operations for a prolonged period and cause unwanted public scrutiny </li></ul>
  49. 50. Fundamentals: Definition of “Crisis” <ul><li>A crisis always has “victims,” which can be either human or animal. If nobody was vicitimized, it’s not a crisis. </li></ul>
  50. 51. Developing a Crisis Plan that Works <ul><li>“ One of the first things you learn is you have to have a plan in place. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sophisticated or simple – you’ve got to have one. Frankly, the simpler the plan, the better.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Larry Hincker, Virginia Tech </li></ul>
  51. 52. Developing a Crisis Plan that Works <ul><li>“ Most plans I see are convoluted, unrealistic, out-of-date nightmares to interpret and never tested by a drill. Good plans point you in the right direction so you can act fast. If yours doesn’t, throw it out and start over.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Richard Amme </li></ul>
  52. 53. Developing a Crisis Plan that Works <ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on functional aspects of response </li></ul><ul><li>Build out crisis infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Examine and mitigate vulnerabilities </li></ul>
  53. 54. Planning: Keep the Plan Simple <ul><li>The process of planning involves an objective inward-assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine operations and processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate and catalogue assets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good plans can be hundreds of pages </li></ul><ul><li>Better plans are just a few pages </li></ul>
  54. 55. Planning: Functional Aspects of Response <ul><li>Who is on the Response Team and who are their alternates? </li></ul><ul><li>At what point do you activate the Crisis Response Team? </li></ul><ul><li>How can they be reached 24x7? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is spokesperson? </li></ul>
  55. 56. Prioritizing Target Audiences <ul><li>Insiders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees, suppliers, customers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local, state and federal regulators and lawmakers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neighbors </li></ul><ul><li>Media to reach community </li></ul>
  56. 57. Prioritize from the inside out <ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citizens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other local governments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local, state and federal regulators and lawmakers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neighboring communities </li></ul><ul><li>Media to reach community </li></ul>
  57. 58. Crisis Response
  58. 59. Specifics of Crisis Response <ul><li>Scheduling and adequate staffing can’t be overlooked </li></ul><ul><ul><li>24x7 means 158 hours per week </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be ready for a crush of calls from media, customers and others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your infrastructure may not handle the volume, contributing to confusion and perceptions of poor response </li></ul></ul>
  59. 60. In the Media Spotlight: The Critical 10 Minutes <ul><li>Today, everyone with a nice phone can be a “journalist” </li></ul><ul><li>Video and photos can be posted on the Web within minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Speculation has a life of its own, so stating facts can quell rumors </li></ul>
  60. 61. Guiding Principles of Crisis Response <ul><li>Quickly assess situation and lay out options </li></ul><ul><li>Your first concern should be the health and safety of anyone involved </li></ul><ul><li>Express concern and sympathy   </li></ul>
  61. 62. Guiding Principles of Crisis Response <ul><li>If the case, emphasize that there will be a complete investigation and your organization will fully cooperate </li></ul><ul><li>Stick to the facts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on the 5 Ws </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Never guess or speculate about information you don’t know </li></ul>
  62. 63. Guiding Principles of Crisis Response <ul><li>Understand that leadership may be part of problem </li></ul><ul><li>Making a statement quickly can help define the story </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can’t wait for comprehensive information </li></ul></ul>
  63. 64. Crisis Response Realities <ul><li>In a crisis, confusion and inaccurate information dominate </li></ul><ul><li>The media deals in black and white and simplicity, but a crisis is shades of gray and complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Media will assess blame </li></ul><ul><li>Media often gets information you don’t have </li></ul>
  64. 65. Think Actions Over Words <ul><li>Look for opportunities to exhibit concern and control </li></ul><ul><li>Resist blatant photo ops </li></ul><ul><li>Document your organization’s efforts, but resist the temptation to self-promote too soon </li></ul>
  65. 66. Crisis Recovery
  66. 67. Crisis Recovery: The Crisis Lifecycle Discovery True impact clear Personal stories On to the next story Duration Intensity
  67. 68. Crisis Recovery: The Crisis Lifecycle Discovery True impact clear Personal stories On to the next story Duration Intensity
  68. 69. Examples of Organizations that Recovered Quickly <ul><li>Southwest Airlines – Plane skids off runway </li></ul><ul><li>City of New York – Terrorist attacks </li></ul><ul><li>NASA – Columbia disaster </li></ul><ul><li>Johnson & Johnson – Tylenol tampering </li></ul><ul><li>Pepsi – Syringe hoax </li></ul>
  69. 70. What They Had In Common <ul><li>Visible senior leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate expressions of concern and sympathy </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid unequivocal action in the public’s interest </li></ul>
  70. 71. Organizations that Failed to Recover Quickly <ul><li>Merck – Product recall </li></ul><ul><li>Exxon – Environmental disaster </li></ul><ul><li>Tobacco industry - Lawsuit </li></ul><ul><li>Firestone – Faulty product </li></ul>
  71. 72. What They Had In Common <ul><li>Leadership was late to show </li></ul><ul><li>Slow to express concern or sympathy </li></ul><ul><li>Slow to take definitive action </li></ul><ul><li>Lied and/or stonewalled </li></ul>
  72. 73. <ul><li>The On-Camera Interview </li></ul>
  73. 74. Interview Basics <ul><li>Have a purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Have an opportunity mindset </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure verbal, nonverbal and message are aligned </li></ul><ul><li>Answer the audience’s core question: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s In It For ME? </li></ul></ul>
  74. 75. Interview Basics <ul><li>Speak from the heart </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it basic and avoid jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Your opinion doesn’t matter </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t speculate, exaggerate or lie </li></ul><ul><li>Think about likely questions </li></ul><ul><li>Be in control of yourself and the situation </li></ul>
  75. 76. Interview Basics <ul><li>Keep it positive </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ramble </li></ul><ul><li>Return to your messages </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that everything is on the record </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t know, say so </li></ul>
  76. 77. You Have the Right to… <ul><li>Know the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Know the format in which it will take place </li></ul><ul><li>Ask who else has been interviewed </li></ul><ul><li>Have time to answer the question without being interrupted </li></ul>
  77. 78. You Have the Right to… <ul><li>Deflect questions that are based on speculation, unnamed sources or innuendo </li></ul><ul><li>Correct misstatements that you make </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to notes to ensure accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>Record the interview </li></ul>
  78. 79. The Concept of “Control” <ul><li>Interviews are among the few situations in which you don’t feel in control, but in reality, you can be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul></ul>
  79. 80. Practice Interview <ul><li>Review your objective </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare for questions from a television reporter doing a story on the company </li></ul>
  80. 81. Evaluation Criteria <ul><li>Confident, at ease? </li></ul><ul><li>Was message delivered? </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on interests of audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid jargon? </li></ul><ul><li>Assert “control” over the situation? </li></ul>
  81. 82. Critiques: Length of Response <ul><li>The average length of a sound bite on TV news: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1969 – 31 sec </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1983 – 7.5 sec </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1997 – 5.8 sec </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2005 – 4.3 sec </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Source: Schaefer, R. (2006), The Shrinking Sound Bite: Two Decades of Stylistic Evolution in Television News </li></ul>
  82. 83. Critique: Unfocused Response <ul><li>If you touch on two subjects in your response, there’s a 50 percent chance that the resulting story won’t focus on the right message </li></ul>On Message Off Message Off Message
  83. 84. Critique: Message Out of Alignment <ul><li>When what you say is out of sync with how you say it, your message will be lost </li></ul>Source: Mehrabian, A. (1981), Silent messages: Implicit communication of emotions and attitudes
  84. 85. Key Messages <ul><li>Unless you consciously think about WHAT you want to communicate, your responses won’t be focused </li></ul><ul><li>Defining a set of key messages (3 or 4) can help focus responses </li></ul>
  85. 86. Great Key Messages <ul><li>Start with the fundamental truth </li></ul><ul><li>Support it with data </li></ul><ul><li>Have a personal anecdote ready that makes the message personal and memorable </li></ul>
  86. 87. But… <ul><li>What about when the reporter plays hardball? </li></ul>
  87. 89. Nightmare Questions <ul><li>Take a moment and write down five questions that you hope will never be asked in an interview </li></ul><ul><li>Why are these questions keeping you awake? </li></ul><ul><li>What if you could welcome these questions? </li></ul>
  88. 90. The Art of Bridging <ul><li>The concept: your role is to communicate YOUR message </li></ul><ul><li>In practice: inject your message into your answers, regardless of the question </li></ul><ul><li>The challenge: being responsive and disciplined </li></ul>
  89. 91. Three Part Process <ul><li>Question – Welcome every question as an opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Response – Acknowledge the question and briefly respond </li></ul><ul><li>Message – As quickly as possible, bridge to your purpose </li></ul>
  90. 92. Bridging Phrases Can Help <ul><li>But we are focused on… </li></ul><ul><li>What’s really important is… </li></ul><ul><li>What your audience really cares about is… </li></ul><ul><li>What I can tell you is… </li></ul>
  91. 93. Key Takeaways <ul><li>Journalists can help serve the public good and build trust </li></ul><ul><li>There is a balance between exposure and access </li></ul><ul><li>Crises can be opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>There is no substitute for a confident, powerful spokesperson </li></ul>
  92. 94. Your City in the News Be Ready for your Close-Up Media Relations Training September 30, 2008